I hereby give notice that an extraordinary meeting of the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee will be held on:

 

Date:

Time:

Meeting Room:

Venue:

 

Thursday, 2 December 2021

11.30am or at the conclusion of the Environment and Climate Change Committee whichever it later

This meeting will be held remotely and can be viewed on the Auckland Council website:  https://councillive.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/

 

 

Kōmiti Whakarite Pārae, Mahi Toi, Hapori, Kaupapa / Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee

 

OPEN AGENDA

 

 

MEMBERSHIP

 

Chairperson

Cr Alf Filipaina

 

Deputy Chairperson

Cr Dr Cathy Casey

 

Members

Cr Josephine Bartley

IMSB Member Tony Kake

 

Deputy Mayor Cr Bill Cashmore

Cr Tracy Mulholland

 

Cr Fa’anana Efeso Collins

Cr Daniel Newman, JP

 

Cr Pippa Coom

Cr Greg Sayers

 

Cr Linda Cooper, JP

Cr Desley Simpson, JP

 

Cr Angela Dalton

Cr Sharon Stewart, QSM

 

Cr Chris Darby

Cr Wayne Walker

 

Cr Christine Fletcher, QSO

Cr John Watson

 

Mayor Hon Phil Goff, CNZM, JP

Member Glenn Wilcox

 

Cr Shane Henderson

Cr Paul Young

 

Cr Richard Hills

 

 

(Quorum 11 members)

 

 

Maea Petherick

Kaitohutohu Mana Whakahaere Matua / Senior Governance Advisor

 

29 November 2021

 

Contact Telephone: (09) 890 8136

Email: maea.petherick@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Website: www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

 

 


 

Terms of Reference

 

Responsibilities

 

This committee deals with the development and monitoring of strategy, policy and action plans associated with community, social and cultural activities. The committee will establish an annual work programme outlining key focus areas in line with its key responsibilities, which include:

 

·       The Southern Initiative and The Western Initiative

·       sports and recreation, including parks and reserves

·       community facilities and community services

·       acquisition of property relating to the committee’s responsibilities and in accordance with the LTP

·       grants for regional events, arts and cultural and heritage organisations, indoor sports and leisure and for the regional community development programme

·       economic development

·       arts and culture

·       community safety

·       community engagement

·       community development

·       homelessness

·       working with the six demographic advisory panels to give visibility to the issues important to their communities and help effect change

·       working with the Auckland Domain Committee to give visibility to the issues important to the Domain and to help effect change.

 

Powers

 

(i)         All powers necessary to perform the committee’s responsibilities, including:

(a)        approval of a submission to an external body

(b)        establishment of working parties or steering groups.

(ii)        The committee has the powers to perform the responsibilities of another committee, where it is necessary to make a decision prior to the next meeting of that other committee.

(iii)       If a policy or project relates primarily to the responsibilities of the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee, but aspects require additional decisions by the Planning Committee and/or the Environment and Climate Change Committee, then the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee has the powers to make associated decisions on behalf of those other committee(s). For the avoidance of doubt, this means that matters do not need to be taken to more than one of these committees for decisions.

(iv)       The committee does not have:

(a)        the power to establish subcommittees

(b)        powers that the Governing Body cannot delegate or has retained to itself (section 2).

 

Code of conduct

 

For information relating to Auckland Council’s elected members code of conduct, please refer to this link on the Auckland Council website - https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/about-auckland-council/how-auckland-council-works/elected-members-remuneration-declarations-interest/Pages/elected-members-code-conduct.aspx

 

 

Exclusion of the public – who needs to leave the meeting

 

Members of the public

 

All members of the public must leave the meeting when the public are excluded unless a resolution is passed permitting a person to remain because their knowledge will assist the meeting.

 

Those who are not members of the public

 

General principles

 

·         Access to confidential information is managed on a “need to know” basis where access to the information is required in order for a person to perform their role.

·         Those who are not members of the meeting (see list below) must leave unless it is necessary for them to remain and hear the debate in order to perform their role.

·         Those who need to be present for one confidential item can remain only for that item and must leave the room for any other confidential items.

·         In any case of doubt, the ruling of the chairperson is final.

 

Members of the meeting

 

·         The members of the meeting remain (all Governing Body members if the meeting is a Governing Body meeting; all members of the committee if the meeting is a committee meeting).

·         However, standing orders require that a councillor who has a pecuniary conflict of interest leave the room.

·         All councillors have the right to attend any meeting of a committee and councillors who are not members of a committee may remain, subject to any limitations in standing orders.

 

Independent Māori Statutory Board

 

·         Members of the Independent Māori Statutory Board who are appointed members of the committee remain.

·         Independent Māori Statutory Board members and staff remain if this is necessary in order for them to perform their role.

 

Staff

 

·         All staff supporting the meeting (administrative, senior management) remain.

·         Other staff who need to because of their role may remain.

 

Local Board members

 

·         Local Board members who need to hear the matter being discussed in order to perform their role may remain.  This will usually be if the matter affects, or is relevant to, a particular Local Board area.

 

Council Controlled Organisations

 

·         Representatives of a Council Controlled Organisation can remain only if required to for discussion of a matter relevant to the Council Controlled Organisation.

 


Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee

02 December 2021

 

ITEM   TABLE OF CONTENTS            PAGE

1          Apologies                                                                                 7

2          Declaration of Interest                                          7

3          Petitions                                                                 7  

4          Public Input                                                           7

5          Local Board Input                                                 7

6          Extraordinary Business                                       7

7          Regional parks land classification programme                                                                                9

8          DRAFT Regional Parks Management Plan      35

9          Consideration of Extraordinary Items

 


1          Apologies

At the close of the agenda no apologies had been received.

 

2          Declaration of Interest

Members are reminded of the need to be vigilant to stand aside from decision making when a conflict arises between their role as a member and any private or other external interest they might have.

 

3          Petitions

There is no petitions section.

 

4          Public Input

There is no public input section.

 

5          Local Board Input

There is no local board input section.

 

6          Extraordinary Business

Section 46A(7) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (as amended) states:

“An item that is not on the agenda for a meeting may be dealt with at that meeting if-

(a)        The local  authority by resolution so decides; and

(b)        The presiding member explains at the meeting, at a time when it is open to the public,-

(i)         The reason why the item is not on the agenda; and

(ii)        The reason why the discussion of the item cannot be delayed until a subsequent meeting.”

Section 46A(7A) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (as amended) states:

“Where an item is not on the agenda for a meeting,-

(a)        That item may be discussed at that meeting if-

(i)         That item is a minor matter relating to the general business of the local authority; and

 (ii)       the presiding member explains at the beginning of the meeting, at a time when it is open to the public, that the item will be discussed at the meeting; but

(b)        no resolution, decision or recommendation may be made in respect of that item except to refer that item to a subsequent meeting of the local authority for further discussion.”


Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee

02 December 2021

 

Regional parks land classification programme

File No.: CP2021/18487

 

  

 

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.       To declare and classify land held under the Local Government Act 2002, and to classify and reclassify land held under the Reserves Act 1977 and approve public notification where required.

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

2.       A comprehensive land status investigation of regional parks has been completed and identified a large number of unclassified reserves held under the Reserves Act 1977 (RA77). Classification is a mandatory task in the development of the draft regional parks management plan.

3.       Of the 1333 parcels of park land within the scope of the regional parks management plan, the investigation identified 276 land parcels held under the RA77, and 1046 as held under the Local Government Act 2002 (LGA).

4.       Two parcels in the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park are still being researched to determine their land status or ownership and will be reported to the committee next year if they require any further decisions.

5.       We have considered the benefits and disadvantages of the Reserves Act 1977 and Local Government Act 2002 in managing and enabling the use, protection and development of each local park, and developed a set of criteria to guide assessment of each land parcel.

6.       Consultation with mana whenua has also informed our assessment and proposals for classification.

7.       Considerations associated with the decision to retain land under the LGA or declare and classify reserve under the RA77 include:

·   regional parks are predominantly held under the LGA and protected in perpetuity through an Order in Council

·   the regional parks management plan provides a further mechanism for the protection of the values of regional parks

·   consistency with adjoining land parcels where there are clear benefits in managing land under single piece of legislation.

8.       For the 1046 parcels of park land held under the LGA, the committee has the option to continue to hold land under the LGA or to declare the land as reserve under the Reserves Act and classify it appropriately.

9.       We have individually assessed the merits of each option and propose that 18 parcels held under the LGA are declared as a reserve and classified under the RA77 (Attachment B).

10.     Of the 274 land parcels held under the Reserves Act:

·    129 are unclassified and require classification to be included in the regional parks management plan (Attachment C) 

·    30 parcels are proposed to be reclassified to better reflect the values of the reserve or correct errors in their original classification (Attachment D).

·    117 require no further action.

11.     Each individual parcel of reserve land has been assessed. Classification actions for unclassified reserve land and reclassification actions for some incorrectly classified reserves are being proposed.

12.     Staff recommend that the committee approve classifying the land parcels and notify the reclassification of other land parcels as outlined in this report.

13.     Completing the reserve declaration and classification processes and notifying reclassification proposals will enable staff to proceed with finalising the draft regional parks management plan.

 

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendation/s

That the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee:

a)      approve 18 parcels of land to be declared a reserve and classified according to their primary purpose, pursuant to section 14(1) of the Reserves Act 1977 as proposed in Attachment B of the agenda report (dated 2 December 2021)

b)      approve the proposed classification of 127 parcels of reserve land pursuant to sections 16(1) and 16(2A) of the Reserves Act 1977 as described in Attachment C of the agenda report (dated 2 December 2021)

c)       approve public notification of the proposals to reclassify 30 parcels of reserve land pursuant to section 24(2)(b) of the Reserves Act 1977 described in Attachment D of the agenda report (dated 2 December 2021).

 

Horopaki

Context

14.     The Governing Body (delegated to this committee) has allocated decision making responsibility for all regional parks.

15.     On 11 June 2020 the Committee resolved to approve the initiation of a comprehensive review of the Regional Parks Management Plan 2010 following section 41 of the Reserves Act 1977 (resolution number: PAC/2020/16) (the RPMP).

16.     The RPMP will cover regional park land held subject to both the Reserves Act 1977 (RA77) and Local Government Act 2002 (LGA), and will be a statutory reserve management plan prepared in accordance with section 41 of the RA.

17.     As part of preparing the RPMP, we have completed a review of whether regional park land is held under the LGA or RA, and if land is held under the RA77 whether it has been appropriately classified.

What we found

18.     1333 land parcels covering all regional parks proposed to be included in scope of the RPMP were investigated: 276 are held under the RA77, and 1046 are held under the LGA.

19.     Two land parcels in the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park require further research to determine their land status or ownership.

20.     Lake Wainamu Reserve is vested in trust with the Queen Elizabeth the Second National Trust with the council responsible for the reserve under a management agreement. We are seeking advice from the Trust on whether the reserve has been classified under the RA77.

21.     Part of Waiatarua Reserve (Lot 6 DP 10822) is managed by the council as part of the regional park. However, research indicates that this land parcel may have not been vested in the council through the Counties Amendment Act 1961. We are seeking advice from the Department of Conservation on the ownership and management of this land parcel.

22.     We will report to the committee next year if any decisions are required on these two land parcels. Further investigation of these land parcels does not prevent the committee from making a decision to notify the draft regional parks management plan at this business meeting.

23.     Of the 274 parcels held under the RA, 129 are currently unclassified.

24.     This report makes recommendations on actions for both land held under the RA and land held under the LGA.

Tātaritanga me ngā tohutohu

Analysis and advice

25.     The committee have the option to hold park land under the LGA or the RA77.

26.     For land held under the LGA the following options have been considered:

·   continue to hold the land under the LGA,

·   declare land currently held under the LGA, to be reserve under the RA77 and classify appropriately.

27.     For land held under the RA, the following options have been considered:

·   classify according to its primary purpose,

·   reclassify to align to its primary purpose,

·   revoke the reserve status and hold the land under the LGA,

·   continue to hold the land as unclassified reserve under the RA77 (status quo).

28.     The option to continue to hold the land as unclassified reserve has been discounted as it would mean that the regional parks management plan would not comply with the RA77, the council would not be meeting its statutory obligations under the RA77 and staff would not be able to recommend public notification of the draft plan (once completed).

29.     Attachment A summarises the different options for land held under the LGA and land held under the RA77, as well as the most common classes for land held under the RA77.

30.     In considering whether to proceed with the options for each land parcel, staff have considered:

·    Regional parks that are wholly held under the LGA should generally be kept under this Act as they are protected by Order in Council.

·    The RPMP will be the primary mechanism for protecting the values of regional parks where land is held under the LGA.

·    Unclassified regional park land should generally be classified under the RA77 rather than revoked and held under the LGA.

·    Regional parks with a mix of LGA and RA77 land will generally not be aligned under one legislation as land parcel boundaries are often arbitrary.

·    Alignment of land status may be recommended where parcel boundaries follow defined geographic boundaries and there are benefits in having land parcels under the same legislation.

·    Based on legal advice, unclassified regional park land held for water conservation or supply purposes should be classified local purpose (water conservation) reserve rather than scenic reserve.

·    Water supply land held under the LGA should not be declared and classified reserve land as parcel boundaries for this land are often arbitrary and capture land outside of a bulk water supply catchment.

·    Reclassification of reserve land will generally not be pursued except where the primary values of the parcel are inconsistent with the current classification and the RA77 allows for reclassification.

31.     The following sections outline in more detail the options for land held under the LGA and RA77 and the criteria on which assessments of each land parcel have been based.

Proposal to declare and classify some land currently held under the LGA

32.     Any land held under the LGA which the committee wishes to manage under the RA77 must be declared reserve and classified appropriately in accordance with the RA77.

33.     Eighteen parcels of land held under the LGA have been identified and recommended for declaring and classifying reserve under the RA77 (Attachment B). 

34.     The predominant reason for declaring and classifying these parcels is to reflect the primary purpose of the land and align land management with other adjacent parcels held under the RA77. All of these parcels align with scenic reserve (a) or (b) classifications (refer to Attachment A for an explanation of these sub-classes of scenic reserve).

35.     Section 14(2) of the RA77 requires public notification when declaring and classifying land as reserve, where land is not zoned open space in the Auckland Unitary Plan.

36.     The parcels proposed to be declared and classified are consistent with Auckland Unitary Plan zoning. This means that public notification is not required.

37.     We recommend that the committee declare and classify the land identified in Attachment B.

Proposed actions for land held under the RA77

38.     As outlined above, there are three valid options for land held under the RA77 – classification, reclassification or revocation of the RA status.

39.     In the context of this investigation, we have not identified any parcels of local park that warrant the reserve status to be revoked and being managed under the LGA.

Classification of land held under the Reserves Act 1977

40.     Classification involves assigning a reserve (or part of a reserve) a primary purpose, as defined in section 17 to 23 of the Act, that aligns with its present values. Consideration is also given to potential future values and activities and uses.

41.     Staff have considered the Reserves Act Guide[1] and the following questions when determining the primary purpose and appropriate classification for each parcel:

·   Why does council own the land? Why was it acquired?

·   What are the main values of the land or potential future values, uses and activities?

·   What potential does the land have for protection, preservation, enhancement or development?

·   What is the status of adjacent parcels of land within the park?

·   Is there likely to be a need to retain flexibility for future use?

42.     The investigation found 129 land parcels currently held as unclassified reserve under the RA77. These require classification under section 16(1) or 16(2A) of the RA77. Attachment C outlines the details of each land parcel and provides the rationale for their classification. These proposals do not require public notification under the Act.

Reclassification of some land held under the RA77

43.     Reclassification involves assigning a different class to a reserve to better cater for its primary purpose.

44.     During the land classification investigation, 30 parcels of classified reserves were identified as requiring reclassification (see Attachment D) for the following reasons:

·   to better align with the natural values of the reserve; or

·   to correct a previous classification error.

45.     Section 24(2)(b) of the RA77 requires all proposals to reclassify reserves to be publicly notified together with the reasons for the proposed change in classification.

Tauākī whakaaweawe āhuarangi

Climate impact statement

46.     The classification decisions in this report are largely administrative.

47.     However, future management and development of park land, which is determined by its purpose, could have a potential positive or negative impact on greenhouse gas emissions. The degree and nature of the impact is dependent on the specific management and development of each park. Two examples of potential impacts are:

·   a potential offsetting of emissions by classifying land as scenic reserve. The purpose of a scenic reserve is largely to protect and restore the natural environment; ecological restoration of a site could result in an increase in carbon sequestration.

·   a potential increase in emissions through increased traffic, following the development of visitor facilities; the development of facilities could be enabled through the classification of recreation reserves.

Ngā whakaaweawe me ngā tirohanga a te rōpū Kaunihera

Council group impacts and views

48.     The land classification investigations have been discussed with Parks Sports and Recreation, Community Facilities (including Leasing), Legal, and Watercare Services Limited. 

49.     Community Facilities manage land on behalf of the Regional Parks and Healthy Waters units.  Their advice is that LGA land be retained under that Act noting the LGA allows for a wider range of uses (consistent with council’s role under that legislation); and the RA77 introduces greater complexity into decision-making.

50.     Regional Parks staff have provided advice on the specific values and uses of regional parks which have informed the recommendations in this report.

51.     Watercare have provided advice on classification proposals within the bulk water supply area and agree with classifying reserve land as local purpose (water conservation) reserve.  

52.     It is noted that the RPMP will provide a consistent management direction for all parks and reserves regardless of whether the land is managed under the RA77 or LGA.

Ngā whakaaweawe ā-rohe me ngā tirohanga a te poari ā-rohe

Local impacts and local board views

53.     We have sought the views of elected members in five local boards: Franklin, Hibiscus and Bays, Rodney, Wāitakere Ranges and Waiheke. These are the local board areas where the regional parks subject to the classification proposals are located. Any informal feedback received will be advised verbally to the committee at its extraordinary meeting.

Tauākī whakaaweawe Māori

Māori impact statement

54.     We have been working with interested mana whenua on land classification as part of the regional parks management plan review.

55.     We provided a summary of the classification proposals and an overview of the current land status of regional parks to mana whenua on 22 September 2021. We proposed hui with mana whenua interested in the classification proposals.

56.     Individual hui were subsequently held in September and October 2021 with mana whenua representatives from Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki, Te Kawerau ā Maki and Te Uri o Hau.

57.     All mana whenua who had participated in the three hui were provided a summary of proposed reserve classification information and associated feedback received from the hui.

58.     Following the hui with Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki, we received written feedback that they opposed the classification of water supply land in the Hūnua Ranges held under the Reserves Act 1977 as local purpose (water conservation) reserve. Their concern was that this classification would impact their aspirations for rangatiratanga, tino rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga.

59.     The classification of water supply land as local purpose (water conservation) reserve is consistent with Watercare holding a long-term lease and licence agreement. Alternative reserve classifications may conflict with this agreement and it is not recommended that the reserve land in the Hūnua Ranges remain unclassified (as outlined in paragraph 23 above).

60.     We acknowledge the aspirations of Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki and suggest that further dialogue occurs between the council, Watercare and mana whenua about the water supply catchment land in the Hūnua Ranges.  

61.     Te Kawerau ā Maki were generally supported staff’s assessment, rationale and proposals for land classification. For Muriwai Regional Park, Te Kawerau ā Maki expressed a desire for the land parcels comprising Otakamiro Point / Maukatia Special Management Zone and the Mitchelson Block to be reclassified from recreation to scenic reserve (s.19(1)(b)) of the Reserves Act.

62.     We have reviewed the primary values of this part of Muriwai Regional Park and undertook further consultation with Ngā Maunga Whakahii o Kaipara about the proposed reclassification, which was supported. This proposal has been included in Attachment D.

63.     Te Kawerau ā Maki raised the appropriateness of holding parts of Long Bay Regional Park under the Local Government Act given the cultural values present.

64.     We investigated further and a heritage covenant has been placed over the Heritage Protection Zone between the main access road and Long Bay residential development. The draft plan has a policy to work with mana whenua to protect the wāhi tupuna within the park, particularly within the foredune area. No change to the land status of the regional park is proposed.

65.     Te Uri o Hau generally supported staff’s assessment, rationale and proposals for land classification at Te Ārai Regional Park. We discussed the recreation reserve land at Te Ārai Point and possible alternative classifications to align with the cultural heritage values. Policies in the draft plan promote working with mana whenua to identify, protect and interpret Māori heritage in the regional park. The Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 also protects archaeological features.

66.     No further written feedback has been received from other mana whenua organisations.

Ngā ritenga ā-pūtea

Financial implications

67.     Financial implications include costs for public notices to reclassify land held under the RA.

68.     These costs will be covered through existing departmental operational budgets.

69.     There are no financial implications associated with retaining land under the LGA or the other classification actions that do not require public notification in this report.

Ngā raru tūpono me ngā whakamaurutanga

Risks and mitigations

70.     The following table outlines the risks and mitigation associated with classification and reclassification of reserves and declaring and classifying land to be reserve.

Risk

Risk level

Mitigation

IF land is held under the LGA

THEN there may be a perception that the land is at risk of sale or disposal

 

 

Low

Regional park land held under the LGA is protected in perpetuity by Order in Council under the Local Government (Auckland Regional Parks) Order 2008

IF LGA land is declared and classified under the RA

THEN this constrains what the land can be used for

 

 

Low

The primary values of each individual parcel proposed to be declared and classified under the RA has been assessed. All parcels adjoin other regional park land under the RA where use is required to be managed according its classification under the RA.

IF public objections to proposed reclassifications are received

THIS will affect the hearings timeline for developing the draft regional parks management plan

 

Low

30 parcels require public notification and if any objections are received these can be considered before hearings are held on the draft management plan.

IF land is classified as scenic 1a or 1b

THEN this places greater responsibility on the council to deliver environmental outcomes which it may not be resourced to deliver

 

Low

Council units responsible for restoration and enhancement of the natural environment are supportive of the scenic classifications proposed and council staff will work together with the community to deliver these outcomes.

 

Ngā koringa ā-muri

Next steps

71.     If the recommended classification actions are approved, the next steps are to:

·   reflect decisions on the classifications in the draft Regional Parks Management Plan to be approved by this committee

·   publish a notice in the local newspaper for the parcels requiring public notification (for at least one calendar month)

·   report back to the committee to outline any submissions and advise further on the reclassification proposals and seek further approval/confirmation if necessary

·   arrange surveying and gazette notices for approved classifications. Approval of gazette notices has been delegated from the Minister of Conservation to the General Manager Community Facilities

·   ensure decisions on reclassification proposals are reflected in the final Regional Parks Management Plan

·   ensure all classifications are correctly recorded on council’s databases.

 

Ngā tāpirihanga

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

a

Possible actions and reserve classes

17

b

LGA land parcels to be declared and classified reserve (notification not required)

21

c

Regional park land held under the Reserves Act 1977 to be classified (notification not required)

23

d

Reserve parcels to be reclassified (public notification mandatory)

33

      

Ngā kaihaina

Signatories

Author

Matthew Ward - Service & Asset Planning Team Leader

Authorisers

Justine Haves - General Manager Regional Services Planning, Investment and Partnership

Claudia Wyss - Director Customer and Community Services

 


Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee

02 December 2021

 

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02 December 2021

 

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Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee

02 December 2021

 

DRAFT Regional Parks Management Plan

File No.: CP2021/18526

 

  

 

Te take mō te pūrongo

Purpose of the report

1.       To approve public notification of the draft Regional Parks Management Plan.

2.       To approve the exclusion of Mutukaroa / Hamlins Hill Regional Park and the Hūnua Falls Special Management Zone from the scope of the draft Plan.

Whakarāpopototanga matua

Executive summary

3.       This report presents the draft Regional Parks Management Plan (draft plan) (Attachments A-D) for committee approval to notify for public consultation.

4.       The draft plan presents the vision, values, management framework and general policies, and specific information and management intentions for each of 28 regional parks.

5.       It provides a management response to key areas of focus, including:

·   increased involvement of mana whenua in accordance with te Tiriti partnership principle

·   adaptation to, and mitigation of climate change on regional parks

·   focus on biodiversity protection

·   adding value to visitor experiences

·   acknowledging that collaboration with others is increasingly important and sought to achieve the aspirations of this draft plan.

6.       In its preparation, we considered the suggestions and input from mana whenua, local boards, community and organisations as required under the Reserves Act 1977 and Local Government Act 2002. We also updated the plan to align with legislative requirements and with current council policy.

7.       We received strong input from mana whenua relating to a desire to be involved in all aspects of regional park management, including co-governance.

8.       With regards to the climate mitigation policy for pastoral land management, while the draft plan reflects the funded position, we acknowledge that a range of community views are held on this matter. The draft plan signals a review to inform consideration of a more aspirational climate mitigation goal (subject to additional funding), the review to be delivered within a year of finalising this plan.

9.       We recommend two changes to scope:

·   exclusion of Mutukaroa / Hamlins Hill Regional Park, due to difficulties to plan with pending Treaty settlements and non-operational status of the management trust for this park

·   Council is required to jointly prepare the section of the plan relating to the Hūnua Falls with Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki. We recommend exclusion of the Hūnua Falls Special Management Zone to allow time for joint preparation, consultation and subsequent addition to the plan.

10.     The draft plan foreshadows future inclusion of local park reserves at Ngaroto lakes (Slipper, Spectacle, and Tomorata) into Te Arai Regional Park as they are adjacent to the recently added southern portion of this regional park.

11.     Subject to the committee’s approval, we intend to notify the draft plan for 12 weeks from a target date of 10 December 2021. This is the two months required under the Reserves Act plus additional time for the summer break. The draft will be widely publicised.

12.     We request that the chair and deputy chair of the committee be delegated the power to approve any amendments to the plan arising from the land classification report (also presented to this meeting) and minor amendments prior to the draft plan being released to the public.

 

Ngā tūtohunga

Recommendation/s

That the Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee:

a)      approve the exclusion of Mutukaroa / Hamlins Hill Regional Park from the draft Plan

b)      approve the exclusion of the Hūnua Falls Special Management Zone (as shown in Attachment E of the agenda report) pending joint preparation of this section with the relevant mana whenua

c)       notes the inclusion of a review of pastoral land management to be completed within a year of finalising this plan, to inform consideration of a more aspirational climate mitigation goal, subject to additional funding

d)      approve the draft Regional Parks Management Plan (Attachments A-D of the agenda report) for public consultation

e)      delegate to the committee chair and deputy chair the power to approve minor amendments to the draft plan, prior to public notification

f)       delegate to the committee chair and deputy chair the power to approve amendments to the draft plan arising from the land classification report presented to this meeting (if any are required), prior to public notification.

Horopaki

Context

13.     The committee has decision-making responsibility over the regional parks as identified in Schedule 1 to the Allocation of Decision-Making Responsibility Table in the Long-term Plan. Under the Reserves Act 1977 and Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area Act 2008, the 2010 regional parks management plan was due for review.

14.     The draft plan is intended to serve as the reserve management plan for the 27 per cent of regional parkland that is held under the Reserves Act 1977 and the management plan for the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park required under s19 of the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area Act 2008. The rest of the land is held under the Local Government Act 2002, for which this is a discretionary plan.

15.     In August 2020 the PACE committee notified an intention to prepare a new plan (PAC/2020/36). We sought suggestions from the community in September and October 2020 as required by the Reserves Act. A summary of the suggestions was provided to elected members in December 2020.

16.     Engagement with mana whenua commenced in July 2020 with a letter from the committee chair to iwi leaders inviting their involvement. Engagement with mana whenua continued throughout the preparation of the draft plan.

17.     During 2021 we have prepared the draft plan as Attachments A-D in this report.

18.     The draft plan provides a policy framework to manage the use, protection and development of 28 regional parks. Once finalised it will replace the 2010 plan. The timeline is provided later in this report. The intention is to finalise the plan in this political term.

Tātaritanga me ngā tohutohu

Analysis and advice

The draft plan development process

19.     The development of the draft plan included consideration of:

·     input from mana whenua, including plans and documents supplied

·     suggestions from organisations and the community and input from local boards

·     directions provided by committee members through workshops held on 26 May 2021, 15 September 2021 and 29 September 2021

·     the 2010 regional parks management plan, existing park concept plans and heritage conservation plans

·     other relevant parks plans and best practice in parks planning

·     conditions relating to gifts of land and covenants

·     information relating to the park values including geological, ecological, heritage values

·     current recreational provision on the parks and research into track user preferences

·     current council strategies and plans

·     input from a wide range of staff specialists

·     the status of all land parcels and their classification where regional park land is held under the Reserves Act.

20.     The draft plan aligns to current council policies, strategies and programmes, avoids repetition, and states policies at an outcomes level rather than being prescriptive about methods. This will enable the adoption of new methods as best practice evolves.

The draft Regional Parks Management Plan – in a nutshell

21.     The draft plan covers 28 parks that extend over approximately 41,000 hectares of land. The plan structure is as follows. 

·   Volume 1: context, vision, values, a management framework and general policies.

·   Volume 2: a chapter for each regional park including park vision and description, mana whenua associations, recreational provision, challenges and opportunities, management intentions and key stakeholders.

·   A series of maps illustrate the parks in volume 2. We provide one sample map with this report to show the form of the maps.

·   The appendices provide factual information and present track development principles and criteria for development of new tracks. We show one sample page of Appendix 8, which will contain information on approximately 1300 land parcels.

Key takeouts from the draft plan

22.     Through this draft plan the regional parks will remain the treasured taonga of Tāmaki Makaurau. The plan safeguards the natural, undeveloped feel of the regional parks that people have consistently told us they value and enjoy. Aucklanders will retain free access to opportunities to explore and enjoy our unique and stunning coastline, forests and farmland.

23.     However, the context of park management is changing. Mana whenua have expressed that they want to be involved in park management at all levels. The need to protect biodiversity is more important than ever in the face of climate change and population growth pressures. On parks, as in other aspects of council’s business, we need to reorient to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time Aucklanders want to enjoy these special places in ever greater numbers.

24.     We have been mindful that the draft plan must fulfil the requirements of the Reserves Act, under which 27 per cent of the land is held. Under s 41(3) of the Reserves Act, the plan must adequately incorporate and ensure the use and management of the reserve is aligned to the purposes for which it is classified.

25.     This draft responds to:

·   the partnership principle under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, by setting a course to work with mana whenua at management, project and operational levels

·   mitigating climate change by:

o keeping 35,000ha of forest healthy as the single biggest thing we can do to store more carbon and keep the carbon storage we have

o aiming to reduce visitor vehicle emissions and improve equity of access by increasing opportunities to walk, cycle, or take public transport to the parks, and to charge electric bikes and vehicles

o revegetating 200ha of retired farmland funded through the Long-term Plan 2021-31 climate package

·   preparing for climate change by:

o drawing on council’s coastal management work to chart a retreat from vulnerable coastal areas and stabilise what we have

o managing our forests and other ecosystems in the face of increased drought, fire risk, and hotter temperatures

o providing more shade and shelter for visitors and animals

o proposing regional park land could host a regenerative agriculture adaptation pilot

·   a need to continue to protect the unique and precious biodiversity in our regional parks by:

o following the direction set by our scientists on regional priorities

o implementing pest control programmes

o working to protect kauri from kauri dieback disease

o supporting the significant contributions in time made by conservation volunteers

·   a need to continue to recognise and protect the substantial quantity of cultural heritage on regional parks, which is of significant value to mana whenua and to Aucklanders

·   requests for increased recreation opportunities by prioritising:

o recreation planning for the Hūnua Ranges to unlock its potential

o track network planning in the Waitākere Ranges to identify next steps beyond the existing track reopening programme

o planning for expected rapid growth in visitor numbers at Te Ārai

o providing for other opportunities across the network

·   the growing population and increasing diversity of Aucklanders by:

o catering for different cultural needs where we can safely do so

o aiming to provide more information about heritage and nature to build understanding and a sense of identity and connection

o continuing education programmes and supporting others to deliver also

·   the challenges in resourcing our ambitions by seeking to collaborate with others to deliver the outcomes of this plan and through a review of the commercial activities framework.

We fully considered suggestions in preparing the draft plan

26.     From the public consultation period during September and October 2020 we received comments and suggestions from 758 people including 53 organisations and a petition from 3681 petitioners.

27.     We fully considered the thousands of individual suggestion points in preparing the draft plan and commissioned research on people’s use of regional park tracks to better understand current and future needs (see research summary in Attachment F).

28.     Approximately one third of submissions related to track closures in the Waitākere Ranges to protect kauri (expressing a range of views). The draft plan responds by:

·   describing the ongoing management approach for protecting kauri including work with mana whenua and national biosecurity agencies

·   noting the current upgrades and tracks reopening occurring under the five-year track reopening programme to 2024

·   proposing development of a track network plan across the Waitākere Ranges as a priority

·   proposing a framework for the track network development, including principles and criteria.

29.     Varied submissions were received relating to dogs on regional parks: many wanted uncontrolled dogs removed, while dog owners requested greater access. The council’s dog policy and dog management bylaw set dog access rules and bylaw enforcement is outside the scope of the plan. However, in response to the submissions, the draft plan suggests future dog bylaw reviews could consider specific changes at:

·   Long Bay: a potential space for a dog exercise area in the northern part of the park.

·   Shakespear: investigation of a range of recreational options that could include dog use of a large flat grassed area outside the sanctuary between Army Bay and Okoromai Bay near a dog walking track.

·   Te Ārai: that dogs be banned from the park (allowed currently at Te Ārai Point).

·   Waitākere Ranges: that other dog walking options be investigated in the wider Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area to alleviate the high numbers at the popular Kakamatua area.

·   Hūnua Ranges: advocacy to the Waikato District Council to include the Kōkako Management Zone as a prohibited area.

30.     Many submitters highlighted conflicts between vehicles on Muriwai beach and other users. The council consulted on options to address this earlier in 2021 and in September 2021 this committee passed resolutions to trial some options (PAC/2021/48, PAC/2021/49). The draft plan reflects this work and anticipates ongoing active management of this issue.

31.     Many park users requested expansion of recreational opportunities relating to their interests. The draft plan continues provision of a range of recreational opportunities across the parks and provides for expanded opportunities in some locations. Highlights include increased opportunities for mountain biking at Ōmana and Hūnua Ranges noting the Hūnua Trail development, and proposed recreation planning exercises for both Hūnua and Waitākere Ranges. The draft also highlights consideration of the needs of diverse user groups including Pasifika and Asian communities.

32.     The most common response from submitters in response to climate change was to suggest we plant more trees. Options for pastoral management that respond to climate change are discussed in the next section. The draft plan reflects council’s funded commitment to plant 200ha for climate reasons and 80ha to enhance biodiversity. Views on whether we should continue farming were mixed. The draft plan provides for farming with sustainable methods to continue, with a portion of land retired for replanting.

33.     A petition sought an end to killing of animals (i.e. to animal farming) for animal rights reasons, and requested farm animals live out their natural lives. The draft plan does not provide for this. It proposes farming continue as an effective land management method for retaining views and grassed areas for recreational use such as events. It provides for opportunities for visitors to see farm animals and experience farms.


 

 

34.     Key technical changes include:

·   a dual vision statement – one for the parks, one for our relationships

·   dropping the principles section to remove repetition, as the principles are captured in the values and policies

·   modifying the 2010 management framework to split park category 1 into 1a and 1b to better manage high visitor numbers in natural areas

·   replacing standard group size limits for locations with demand management tools.

There is an opportunity to include an aspirational pastoral management position, beyond that currently funded

35.     The draft plan presents the funded position for responding to the climate emergency in respect to our land management (which is revegetating 200ha of pastoral land).

36.     This means the area available for farming would slowly decrease throughout the decade  to meet the 10 per cent target for methane reductions by 2030 in Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri.

37.     Council’s farm emissions are currently approximately 5300 tonnes CO2e per year, representing 20-25 per cent of the council’s emissions profile. Farming emissions are roughly an 80:20 split of methane and oxides of nitrogen.

38.     The funded position in the draft plan is our starting point due to:

·   the practicalities of managing the land (the land is set up to be farmed, and farming is an effective land management tool)

·   it is arguably the lowest cost method to manage the land in the short term

·   it retains a rural pastoral aspect that is enjoyed by many

·   it retains open areas that provide for recreational use (such as events), views, and the opportunity for visitors to see working farms up close.

39.     The draft plan explains that further cuts in farm emissions could be obtained by revegetating additional land but stops short of proposing a goal to do so[2].

40.     Scenarios were presented at a workshop on 15 September 2021, and in response we present an optional recommendation c) for the committee to consider.

41.     We do not recommend setting an intention to cease farming because there is value in retaining grass for current recreational uses, protection of cultural heritage sites and views.

42.     Consultation on the draft plan provides the opportunity to understand community interest in a more aspirational climate response position.

43.      We note the draft plan signals a review of pastoral land management to inform consideration of a more aspirational climate mitigation goal. The review will be completed within a year of finalising this plan and would need to identify any additional funding requirements for future consideration.

Land classification decisions affect the draft plan

44.     A separate report to this meeting identifies the gaps and recommended changes in the Reserves Act classification of land parcels as part of this regional parks management plan review.


 

 

45.     Where land is held under the Reserves Act, the management plan must provide for management in line with the Reserves Act classification, which sets the purpose for holding the reserve. We have drafted the plan with the assumption that the classification recommendations coming to this committee are approved and adopted. If not, some park-specific information may need to be updated to reflect the committee’s decisions on classifications before public release.

46.     We recommend that the committee delegate approval of classification amendments to the draft plan (if any) prior to public notification to the chair and deputy chair of the PACE committee.

Public notification

47.     As required by section 41(6) of the Reserves Act (for land held under that Act), the draft plan will be open for public consultation for a period of at least two months. We have extended this time to 12 weeks, recognising it includes the summer holiday break.

48.     Subject to committee approval, consultation is targeted to start on 10 December and close on 4 March 2022. Submitters may speak to their submission at a hearing.

49.     Final changes to the draft plan arising from this committee meeting may be required prior to public notification. We propose that approval of final changes be delegated to the chair and deputy chair.

50.     Given the high level of interest in this draft plan, we intend to publicise it widely through council channels, as well as notifying mana whenua and submitters that the plan is available for comment.

51.     We will be able to have online engagement briefings if conditions relating to Covid-19 limit engagement through more traditional channels.

52.     The consultation will follow the special consultative procedure under s.83 of the Local Government Act 2002, noting that a summary is not required under s.87(2)(a). We are required to adopt the special consultative procedure for the Waitākere Ranges section of the draft plan under the Waitākere Ranges Heritage Area Act.

53.     The Reserves Act provides for written comments from submitters during this consultation step, followed by hearings.

Scope changes

Mutukaroa / Hamlins Hill

54.     The report to this committee in June 2020 proposed including Mutukaroa / Hamlins Hill within the scope of this review. This is because it is managed by the council as a regional park but was not included in the 2010 plan.

55.     We now recommend exclusion of Mutukaroa / Hamlins Hill Regional Park from the scope of the review and draft plan because:

·   The park continues to have a complex underlying ownership with both council and Crown-owned portions. The Crown-owned portions are subject to unresolved Treaty settlement negotiations.

·   The iwi management trust established to govern the Crown-owned portion is not currently operating. A primary purpose of the trust is to provide input into the plan for the park. No input has been able to be obtained.

·   The iwi management trust is not representative of all mana whenua with interests, including of the iwi who have lodged Treaty claims involving this land.

56.     We rejected the option of only including the council owned part of Mutukaroa / Hamlins Hill, as it made little sense from a recreational, conservation or heritage management perspective to consider part of the park on its own. 

57.     Once future ownership and governance of the Crown-owned portion has been resolved, the park could be brought into the management plan as a variation to the plan.

Exclusion of Hūnua Falls Special Management Zone

58.     We have considered whether the Hūnua Falls Special Management Zone (refer to map in Attachment E) should be excluded from the draft plan at this stage.

59.     This is because a 2ha scenic reserve (Hihiorapa Urupā) at the top of the falls extending into the falls pool was vested in Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki through its treaty settlement act in 2018. It was vested as a reserve with continued council management as part of the regional park. The act states that we must jointly prepare this section of the plan with Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki.

60.     In addition, Crown-owned Hūnua Falls Scenic Reserve is identified in settlement legislation to vest in four iwi owners once all four Treaty settlements are completed. Two are completed (for Ngāi ki Tāmaki and Ngāti Tamaoho) with Ngaati Whanaunga and Ngāti Koheriki unresolved.

61.     This 249ha block of land comprises four parcels, one to the west of the falls and the other three to the east of the falls area covering mostly forested land, including up to the banks of the falls pool.

62.     At the time that the reserve vests in all four iwi, the council will become the administering body as if it were appointed to control and manage the reserve under section 28 of the Reserves Act. This reserve will remain part of the regional park.

63.     The council owns three small land parcels that adjoin the reserve parcels subject to Treaty settlements. These comprise the arrival zone for the falls area, including the main car park, ranger house and Kōkako Lodge, and are located to the west of the falls area.

64.     We have considered:

·    Treaty settlement legislation (both enacted and still to come into force) and the requirement to prepare the Hihiorapa Urupā section of the plan with Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki

·    the need to manage the Hūnua Falls Special Management Zone in an integrated manner, which makes it difficult to exclude particular parcels of land from the draft plan that require joint preparation

·    the benefits of working closer with the four iwi who will become the owners of Hūnua Falls Scenic Reserve

·    excluding the Hūnua Falls Special Management Zone from the draft plan would not adversely affect the short-term management of the area (it would remain subject to the 2010 plan)

·    the water safety initiatives at the falls will remain unaffected by continuing under the current plan 

·    the ability to address the future lease of Kōkako Lodge could be resolved by keeping this discrete land parcel within the scope of the draft plan.

65.     We recommend excluding Hihiorapa Urupā Reserve, the adjacent Crown-owned Hūnua Falls Scenic Reserve and the council-owned arrival area (Part Allotment 24 Parish of Hunua District and Section 1 SO 66955) from the draft plan.

66.     If this recommendation is accepted, we would jointly prepare the management plan section for these related parcels with the current and future iwi owners, consult on that section, and adopt it into the main management plan when complete. Until that time, the 2010 plan would remain in force for that area.

67.     We have approached Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki to initiate this joint preparation and have received confirmation to commence this process.

Foreshadowed inclusion of Ngaroto lakes (local parkland) at Te Ārai

68.     The Te Ārai south parkland was vested in the council as regional parkland on 9 November 2021. This parkland is included in the draft plan as it has been contemplated for several years.

69.     A proposed allocation change being investigated (and yet to be recommended to this committee) is the transfer of local parkland currently allocated to Rodney Local Board at Ngaroto Lakes (Slipper, Spectacle, and Tomorata) into the Te Ārai Regional Park (i.e. a change to the internal allocation of decision-making responsibility). The new Te Ārai south portion of regional parkland is contiguous with two of the lakes, suggesting the lakes would receive a more integrated management as part of the regional park.

70.     We are initiating a process with Rodney Local Board to seek their approval of this transfer to incorporate the three lakes into Te Ārai Regional Park, before coming to this committee with the recommendation.

71.     The draft plan notes these lakes are still local parks but proposes some management intentions for them should they come into the regional park. If they are transferred before the plan is adopted, proposals for their management will have been consulted on, preventing the need for a separate consultation and variation. If the transfer does not go ahead, community comments on the lakes could be passed to Rodney Local Board to consider for inclusion in the Rodney local parks management plan (also in development).

72.      The Rodney Local Board is due to consider classification recommendations for two land parcels at the lakes at a business meeting on 1 December. Because of the transfer investigation underway, these classification recommendations have been reviewed by regional parks staff and mana whenua. During this review, mana whenua expressed strong support for integrated management of the three lakes.

Tauākī whakaaweawe āhuarangi

Climate impact statement

73.     An implementation action for parks management plans is to embed the mitigation and adaptation policies in Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan.

74.     Adaptation policies are embedded by:

·   acknowledging council use of dynamic adaptive policy pathway (DAPP) techniques and development of climate risk and vulnerability assessments (CRVAs) for all assets

·   continuing coastal hazard monitoring, managed retreat of infrastructure and ecosystems and stabilising with planting, and anticipating Shoreline Adaptation Plans will set more specific responses for regional park coastlines

·   ecosystem planning to respond to higher likelihood of drought

·   providing more shade and shelter for visitors and stock as a priority

·   supporting responses to increased risks from plant and animal pests and pathogens and being prepared for a higher level of fire risk, with a focus on visitor use of fire for barbecuing

·   allowing for regional parkland to be considered as a site for demonstrating regenerative agriculture practices as part of a climate adaptation programme, if identified as a priority.

75.     Mitigation policies are embedded by:

·   revegetating 200ha out of 1,500ha of farmland (funded through the LTP climate package) and (subject to committee resolution) having a goal to retire more farmland as funding is available

·   continuing revegetation of a variety of habitats for biodiversity enhancement (funded in existing budgets, comprising approximately 80ha over 10 years including infill or enrichment planting of already retired areas)

·   promoting a reduction in visitor vehicle emissions related to regional park use, which are estimated to be up to 34,000 tonnes CO2e per year[3]:

o progressively modifying arrival zones as they need renewal to enable and encourage mode shift to walking, cycling, bus use

o supporting cycleway development and advocating for public transport to parks

o considering regional parks for placement of EV charging including for e-bikes

o better information and promotions about alternative ways to reach regional parks.

76.     We note that future management and development of park land, which is determined by its purpose, could have a potential positive or negative impact on greenhouse gas emissions. The degree and nature of the impact is dependent on the specific management and development of each park. Two examples of potential impacts are:

·        a potential offsetting of emissions by classifying land as scenic reserve. The purpose of a scenic reserve is largely to protect and restore the natural environment; ecological restoration of a site could result in an increase in carbon sequestration.

·        a potential increase in emissions through increased traffic, following the development of visitor facilities on recreation-focused park land.

Ngā whakaaweawe me ngā tirohanga a te rōpū Kaunihera

Council group impacts and views

77.     We have reflected advice from across the council group to draft this plan including:

·    Parks, Sport and Recreation; in particular regional parks and visitor experience

·    Community Facilities in particular land advisory, farming and sustainability

·    Infrastructure and Environmental Services including coastal, biosecurity, natural environment teams

·    Auckland Plan Strategy and Research including the chief sustainability office, strategic advice, natural environment strategy and Hauraki Gulf

·    Ngā Matarae

·    Plans and Places; in particular heritage

·    Community and Social Policy.

78.     We have consulted with Auckland Transport, Auckland Unlimited (Screen Auckland in particular) and with Watercare over relevant aspects of the draft plan.

79.     We have aligned the draft plan with other council plans and strategies.

Ngā whakaaweawe ā-rohe me ngā tirohanga a te poari ā-rohe

Local impacts and local board views

80.     Community suggestions have been discussed earlier in this report. The public will have the opportunity to make submissions on the draft plan, subject to the committee approving notification of the draft plan.

81.     All local boards were invited to input and after a series of workshops where local boards were presented the summary of community submissions, 13 local boards provided 245 comments through their business meetings in March 2021. These comments were provided to this committee via a memo in May 2021. Attachment G presents the common themes from local boards and the draft plan response.

82.     Local boards will have another opportunity to review written submissions on the draft plan and provide comment to the hearings panel (in April and May 2022).

Tauākī whakaaweawe Māori

Māori impact statement

83.     The draft plan’s intentions to involve mana whenua in park management and acknowledgement of mana whenua associations with regional parkland, impact positively on mana whenua and council’s commitments to improve Māori outcomes (see paragraphs 93 and 94 for details).

84.     The Reserves Act is one of the acts in the First Schedule to the Conservation Act 1987. In performing functions and duties under the Reserves Act, the council must give effect to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

85.     Treaty obligations are overarching and not something to be considered or applied after all other matters are considered.

86.     The draft plan acknowledges council’s obligation to iwi in relation to Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi in regional parks management planning. In developing the draft plan council aimed to honour these obligations.

87.     We invited mana whenua to be involved in the development of the draft plan. This opportunity was taken up by 16 of the 19 mana whenua in the region, and by the Tāmaki Makaurau Mana Whenua Forum, also known as the Mana Whenua Kaitiaki Forum. Our one-to-one engagement was with a mix of both rangatira and kaimahi representatives.

88.     Mana whenua told us they aspire to a more substantive role including co-governance and co-management. The role of mana whenua with respect to regional parks and how we portray mana whenua and partnerships was by far the most highlighted point across all mana whenua engagement. The Mana Whenua Kaitiaki Forum sought clarity on how the council views its partnership role, in particular seeking co-governance for mana whenua of the regional parks. It also sought recognition of case law that confirmed mana whenua priority for business opportunities on Reserves Act land.

89.     The draft plan does not provide for co-governance of the regional parks, rather acknowledges that this is part of a broader discussion. It identifies that governance of the regional parks rests with the council’s governing body.

90.     The draft provides for co-management but does not specify how this should occur, as there are a variety of emerging models of co-management. Given the number of iwi involved and the variety of associations with different regional parks it would not be appropriate to specify models in this plan.

91.     Mana whenua also told us they:

·   offer their enduring support to protect and restore the environment including care of taonga and are concerned about degradation affecting their mana and wellbeing

·   want to showcase their cultural associations with regional parks and strengthen their presence in them

·   seek opportunities to build their capacity and capability through employment and business development

·   seek access for customary activities, including cultural harvesting, in parks.

92.     We heard differing views from mana whenua on how the draft plan should reflect which iwi the council works with in managing a park. In response, we have referred to mana whenua acknowledgements in existing settlement legislation and deeds in each park chapter, while also acknowledging the existence of other mana whenua interests.


 

 

 

93.     In response to all of the mana whenua input, the draft plan seeks to embed te ao Māori / the Māori world view and values throughout the document and seeks to involve mana whenua at both general policy and park levels. The policy chapter titled Mana whenua partnerships includes policies aligning to council’s commitment to improve Māori outcomes and to address mana whenua aspirations, including:

·   setting an enabling framework to build partnerships at all levels

·   enabling an expanded mana whenua role beyond cultural heritage; the draft plan reflects mana whenua interest in all areas of park management

·   supporting a Māori identity on parks and Māori wellbeing including through park naming (the draft plan reflects the decisions made by this committee on 11 November inviting mana whenua to provide Māori names for six parks (PAC/2021/61).

94.     The first management intention in each park chapter is to work with mana whenua to explore their priorities and involvement in delivering the intentions for that park.

95.     Mana whenua and the Kaitiaki Forum previewed some sections of the plan. We strengthened these sections in response to their comments. The sections were:

·   Introduction: subsection on te ao Māori in park management

·   Context: subsection on strengthening partnerships with mana whenua 

·   Vision and values chapter

·   Mana whenua partnership policy chapter

·   Protection of cultural values chapter.

96.     Mana whenua and mataawaka will have the opportunity to comment on the draft plan during the upcoming consultation steps including written feedback and hearings.

Ngā ritenga ā-pūtea

Financial implications

97.     There are no cost implications from these decisions.

98.     Costs relating to public consultation are covered through the project budget. Hearings’ commissioner costs are met from existing operational budgets.

99.     This draft plan sets aspirations for the care, management and use of regional parks. The policies and management intentions are not costed nor prioritised and in many cases they are aspirational. The draft plan provides for the regional community to partner in support of council to deliver the outcomes in the plan.

100.   Publicly notifying a draft plan will set the council on a path of adopting a plan with ambitions, and expectations around this will need to be managed.

101.   To quote from the Implementation chapter: “This draft Plan does not set the funding for regional parks. Instead, funding of activities within the council is allocated through the publicly consulted Long-term Plan process. This sets the budget for the following ten years. In the intervening years, the council publishes an annual budget. These processes allow the council to prioritise spending across its wider portfolio and respond to changes in budgets and revenue, such as impacts from Covid-19.”


 

 

 

Ngā raru tūpono me ngā whakamaurutanga

Risks and mitigations

102.   The following table outlines relevant risks and mitigations.

Risk

Mitigation

Raising expectations: The draft plan sets out ambitions that exceed the current budget and recognises the opportunity to partner with others. There is a risk that it will raise expectations beyond current resource capacity in the Long-term Plan.

Our communications will emphasise that the draft plan does not commit any investment beyond existing budgets. The draft plan explicitly:

·   identifies the intentions are not fully funded

·   explains funding decisions are through the LTP and annual budgets

·   opens the door to collaborations and resourcing by others

·   notes plan delivery will involve setting priorities across its wider portfolio and respond to changes to budget and revenue, such as impacts from Covid-19.

If the draft plan proposes only a small reduction of farming, council may be criticised for not reducing emissions that can be reduced further in the face of the climate emergency.

In publicising the draft plan, we will emphasise that it is a draft and people can provide feedback.

This issue is likely to be topical with submitters and submissions will help clarify the aspiration to be set in the final plan.

Suggestions for the draft plan included some conflicting views, and we have not been able to accommodate them all – not everyone will agree with the draft plan.

Emphasise that public notification of the draft plan is the opportunity for the public to tell us what they agree and disagree with in the draft plan. The hearings panel will consider all submissions and make recommendations.

Many suggestions related to issues beyond the scope of this plan and we do not address them.

Respond to questions about the scope of the plan if any are asked.

One third of the suggestions related to requests to reopen tracks in the Waitākere Ranges faster. We provide for a track network plan beyond the current one (which is due to be complete mid-2024) to be developed but have not made any firm commitments to reopening certain tracks. Not everyone will be satisfied with a promise of another planning process for determining this network.

Our key messages include:

·   we continue to upgrade and open new tracks in the Waitākere Ranges through the five-year track reopening plan 2019-2024

·   in the draft RPMP we seek public feedback on a framework for making future track network decisions

·   we propose a key priority is a track network plan beyond 2024 for the Waitākere Ranges

 


 

 

Ngā koringa ā-muri

Next steps

103.   Subject to approval from the PACE committee to notify the draft plan, the next steps will be:

·   approval of final changes under delegated authority

·   notification of the draft plan for consultation, targeting Friday 10 December 2021

·   Regulatory Committee selection and appointment of hearings commissioners at its meeting on 14 December 2021

·   consultation for 12 weeks to Friday 4 March 2022 (2 months is required by the Reserves Act in respect to reserve land, and time is added for the summer break)

·   collation and analysis of submissions in March 2022

·   local boards’ review of the submissions and input in April 2022 (workshops are being requested now)

·   hearings and hearing panel recommendations from late April to the end of June 2022

·   this committee’s decisions on recommended changes in August 2022

·   the final plan presented to this committee for adoption in September 2022.

 

Ngā tāpirihanga

Attachments

No.

Title

Page

a

Draft Regional Parks Management Plan - Book One

49

b

Draft Regional Parks Management Plan - Book Two

213

c

Draft Regional Parks Management Plan - Example Park Map

481

d

Draft Regional Parks Management Plan - Appendices

483

e

Hunua Falls Special Management Zone map

517

f

Recreational Tracks Research Summary

519

g

Summary of response to local board input

525

     

Ngā kaihaina

Signatories

Author

Jo Mackay - Project Manager

Authorisers

Justine Haves - General Manager Regional Services Planning, Investment and Partnership

Claudia Wyss - Director Customer and Community Services

 


Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee

02 December 2021

 

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Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee

02 December 2021

 

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Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee

02 December 2021

 

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Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee

02 December 2021

 

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Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee

02 December 2021

 

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Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee

02 December 2021

 







Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee

02 December 2021

 

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[1] Local Government New Zealand and Department of Conservation (n.d), Reserves Act Guide, retrieved from https://www.doc.govt.nz/Documents/about-doc/role/legislation/reserves-act-guide.pdf

[2] The relevant sections in the draft plan are: Chapter 2: Context. Section on Mitigation through land management and policy 4 under Chapter 9: Management of farmed settings – Pastoral management

[3] We don’t have reliable information about how far people travel to get to the parks. If we assume an average 30-60km round trip per vehicle, that is 17,000-34,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emitted by all these vehicle trips each year – three to six times the emissions from our farming activities.